In a rare and contentious spectacle that occurred during a House Oversight Committee hearing last Tuesday, Democrat Representative Jasmine Crockett from Texas assailed her own state, marking a surprising addition to the verbal scrimmage often seen in the political battleground. Adopting a rhetoric reminiscent of Hillary Clinton, Representative Crocket’s brazen critique extended to Florida and other red states, including Texas – her very own constituency, tagging them as ‘deplorable’.
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) December 5, 2023
The hearing was focused on the controversial issue of biological males participating in women’s sports. Among those in attendance were witnesses Sarah Parshall Perry of the Heritage Foundation and former NCAA Champion swimmer, Riley Gaines. The ideological clash sharpened when Crockett targeted Perry, lambasting both Perry’s organization and Texans, an unsavory rant that was met with swift and severe backlash from her peers.
Luna: I identify with state and states as my pronouns and thus move to strike deplorable states from the record pic.twitter.com/DGA1BOcQKm
— Acyn (@Acyn) December 5, 2023
Crockett stated, “I know your organization, the Heritage Organization, loves Texas. They’re always sending us some nonsense bills that somehow set this country on the wrong trajectory. They send them to Texas, they send them to Florida, every deplorable state that we can think about. They’re usually coming out of y’all’s think tank.”
The audacious comments ignited immediate feedback on social media platforms, with critics rapidly condemning her uncompromising stance against the so-called ‘deplorable’ states.
Congresswoman Anna Paulina Luna from Florida immediately challenged Crockett’s rhetoric, requesting that her disparaging comments be expunged from the record. Widen the lens further still and you’ll see Crockett’s fellow Texas representative, Beth Van Duyne stepping in with a succinct fact-check that gave fresh perspective to the ongoing controversy.
Our state is so “deplorable” that more than a million people moved here last year and we continue to lead the nation in job creation… Give me a break. https://t.co/5rIIafAiu7
— Beth Van Duyne (@Bethvanduyne) December 6, 2023
Van Duyne rebuked her colleague with an argument informed by immigration and employment statistics. “Our state is so ‘deplorable’ that more than a million people moved here last year, and we continue to lead the nation in job creation,” she pointed out.
Ironically, Representative Crockett herself was among those who migrated to Texas, having relocated from St. Louis, Missouri, in her youth. Many of those now migrating to Texas bring with them a diversity of political orientations, enriching the landscape of the state and challenging the binary partisan division.
This incident underscores a crucial question about the delicate balance between representing a state versus denigrating it for political point-scoring. The notion that an elected official would degrade her own constituency, thus tarnishing her professional credibility, strengthens the case for these representatives’ commitment to the idea of a partisan battleground over the well-being of their constituents.
In conclusion, this episode has yet again brought to the fore the deep ideological divides that mark the American political landscape. However, it is the resiliency of the American political framework, fortified by its checks and balances and the spirit of discourse, which allows such confrontations to unfold and drives the continuous striving towards better governance. As for those representatives who trade in inflammatory rhetoric, they would do well to remember the constituents they serve and the states they represent. When the dust settles on these heated exchanges, it is those people – not the points scored in a heated committee hearing – that truly matter.